In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. –John 1:1-3
John chose an incredible way to begin his gospel of Jesus Christ. He places Jesus not in the manger, but “in the beginning.” As D. A. Carson writes, “It’s possible that John is making an allusion to his colleague’s work, saying in effect, ‘Mark has told you about the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry; I want to show you that the starting point of the gospel can be traced farther back than that, before the beginning of the entire universe.'”
Before creation, Jesus was. Before Abraham, Jesus was. In fact, Jesus himself said, Before Abraham was born, I am (John 8:58). And, before John the Baptist, Jesus was as John the Baptist’s testimony was, He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me (John 1:15).
There was never a time when Jesus was not. Though we may try to stretch our imagination as far back in time as possible, we will never come to a time when Jesus did not exist.
Jesus, the Word, who was with God in the very beginning, “came into the sphere of time, history, and tangibility,” writes Carson. In other words, “the Son of God was sent into the world to become the Jesus of history, so that the glory and grace of God might be uniquely and perfectly disclosed.” And such glory and grace was made manifest on the cross where Jesus, for our sake [was] made to be sin [though he] knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Let us therefore remember that the gospel starts before creation and recall the words of Paul in Ephesians 1:3-4:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.